Quantifying Pathogens in Drinking Water – Innovators ep.5
RPA is perfect. You’re at one temperature at 37 degrees. It’s perfect for flow-through systems because the problem is evaporation; if you heat up the system then bubbles in the system can be created and then we will see nothing. So, I need a very simple assay and therefore we have decided to use RPA. I’m from the Institute of Hydrochemistry and chair of Analytical Chemistry at the Technical University of Munich. In Germany, we have this drinking water guideline: Pathogens should not be inside of drinking water. Our interest is to develop simple detection systems of pathogens which can be used in the field. It would have to be so simplified that it works automatically in the drinking water works. The standard method is done by cultivation. Cultivation takes one day or more. Our system can identify and quantify bacteria and viruses and one or two hours. We are using Recombinase Polymerase Amplification. In principle, if you have the knowledge about the primer sequences coming from PCR, you can easily develop RPA assays. We want to analyse, in parallel, Legionella pneumophila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, but also, indicator organisms like E. coli and Enterococcus faecalis. I’m using it for one-and-a-half years now and I’m really happy with it. It works really well. It’s really time saving. We have found RPA is perfect. You just inject it into a channel of the microarray and then this amplification starts immediately and it works. I think it’s really simple and fast. By the CCD camera we can make an image of the chemiluminescence and we can see that image later on our screen and this is how we do our measurements. My vision is to have an online monitoring system which can be performed very frequently at low temperature. RPA is the solution. We have shown that it works.